Rape in a Karachi hospital
THE gang rape of a young nurse at a hospital in Karachi on Thursday by four ward attendants tells us no place is safe from grisly attacks.
The nurse who works at Civil Hospital had gone to a government hospital in her residential locality for some treatment when she was assaulted by four ward men. Miraculously, she went to the police to report the crime.
Unfortunately an officer’s response – he said that she appeared mentally unbalanced because she walked into the police station with a vegetable basket – is also a reminder of how much sensitivity is needed in handling crimes against women.
A medical examination has confirmed assault so this shows that some progress has been made in speeding up the investigative procedure.
It is not uncommon for rape victims to suffer a whole host of delays in their pursuit of justice – from difficulties in registering an FIR to delays in the investigative procedure because of the police’s inefficiency or incompetence to delays in the trial itself.
Since the aforementioned suspects have fled along with an attendant who was unable to stop the assault (perhaps he feared torture by the police) one can only hope that the police will leave no stone unturned in their quest to bring them to justice.
While it is heartening that more women are stepping forward to report rapes, and discriminatory aspects of the law have been changed to favour them, it is tragic that the government is unable to secure more convictions.
For this the police and prosecution have to put forward strong cases against the culprits. No man should feel that he can get away with a crime like rape.
Because it is not always possible for a rape victim to go to a women’s police station, policemen need to be sensitised to dealing with the issue.